Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting ~ Republic Day Dhamaka

Chocolate Cupcakes are a favorite and for a our Republic Day Dhamaka in our Apartment, these were the first flavours to run out in my Cupcake Sale. These are my personal favourites too. So apart from this flavour making way in my stall there were three other flavours were featured, which was Vanilla with Royal Frosting, Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Banoffee Cupcake which is Banana and Toffee, for which the pictures will soon be posted! So stay tuned!

Recipe Source: Joy of Baking
All Purpose Flour - 1 1/3cup
Baking Powder - 2tsps
Salt - 1/4tsp
Hot Boiling Water - 1cup
Cocoa Powder - 1/4cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2cup
Eggs - 2
Granulated Sugar - 1cup
Vanilla Extract - 2tsp

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Shortening or Butter - 1cup
Unsweetened Chocolate - 3 (1 oz squares each or replace with 3/4 cup Cocoa Powder)
Milk - 3-4tbs
Vanilla Extract - 1tsp
Icing Sugar - 4cups, sifted

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 - 20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. You can either spread the frosting on the cupcakes with a small spatula or if piping, use a large Wilton 1M open star tip to make lovely swirls. These cupcakes are best the day they are made, but can be covered and stored for a few days.

For the Frosting: In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using. 

Pasha Bar and Grill, Alila Hotel Bangalore ~ A Review

When you walk into the lobby of the Alila Hotel everything you set you eyes on is vainglorious. Alila Hotel is line of 5 star business hotels located in Whitefield and overlooks the Varthur Lake. I was promptly escorted to the 5th floor, right to where Pasha Bar and Grill is located. Once you step out of the elevator your mesmerized by the pool that's open to the sky which is all an extended part of Pasha.

So quick exchange of greetings with the Director of Food and Beverage Mr.Rahul Makhija and he took me around on a quick tour around Pasha which basically caters to the IT crowd around Whitefield area and also to the posh gated communities that are in the surroundings. Pasha presents an opportunity of that after hour work pit stop as well as a sit down dinner indulgence. I liked everything about Pasha, its modern , stylish and a perfect destination for any occasion  What particularly interests me is their long spread out bar counter - "the spaciousness" unlike other places where the bar counter is rather a restricted portion of the restaurant. There's variety of seating that is offered, by the poolside, outside on the deck, inside the bar with rounded tables or on the bar stool by the bar counter.

The menu is quite limited, to be a lot more precise, the menu which is Indian hosts Indian Kebabs, rotis, rice, vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries with the combinations changing for 6 days of the week. So what you have on Monday night is what you'd get if you return on Friday in the same week. I must say the meal I had was flavourful, unpretentious capturing the taste of  the Delhi -UP region. The drinks menu here is extensive and there's no mistaking that it's a bar.We started with a round of kebabs the Sarson Mahi Tikka,  Cottage Cheese Rolls, Chicken Yogurt and Silver Leaf Kebab and the Griddled Lamb Kebab. The spice levels for each of the non vegetarian kebabs were just right and rightly went my drink a strawberry and vodka drink called the Twins which was pink, fancy, sweet with a hint of heat from the chili right in your throat. And not to mention the kebabs keep coming while you still enjoy your conversation, and by the way if you have second and third round of kebabs they are still warm to one's satisfaction. We then moved onto hot basket of rotis, phulkas and naans paired with some rich Murg Awadhi  Korma which just did it for me. I also got to taste the Nihari Gosht which were tender and spicy. Along with your curries, the lentils are served, I'm a huge fan of Dal Makhani which is simply heavenly with hot rotis. Next up was an aromatic biriyani the Hyderabadi Murg Dum Biriyani which was very needed after all the protein, fragrant and making it a treat to the palate. Coming to its wake, an interesting end to the meal which left me in total satisfaction was the Coffee Kulfi, if not a satiation. An interesting end to a pleasant food experience. 

Pasha Bar and Grill is open for Dinner from Monday to Saturday from 6pm onwards
The Dinner is priced at INR999, exclusive of taxes

Pasha also opens to a scrumptious buffet brunch on a Lazy Sunday from 11am to 4pm which includes a dip in the pool while enjoying yourself to an elaborate carte.

The Lazy Sunday Brunch is priced at INR 1200 plus tax, inclusive of soft drinks
INR1500 plus tax inclusive of alchol beverage
INR1700 plus tax inclusive of sparkling wine

Pasha Bar and Grill
Alila Hotel and Residences
Varthur Main RoadWhitefield

Tel: 080- 2854444

Valet Parking Available

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Piri Piri Chicken~ The Jamie Oliver Way!

For the Potato Accompaniment:
Potato - 1
Sweet Potatoes - 2
Lemon - 1/2
Red Chili - 1 fresh
Coriander Leaves - 1 bunch
Feta Cheese - 50gms

Wash the potato and sweet potatoes and halve length ways  Put them into a large microwave safe bowl with 1/2 a lemon. Cover and cling film and put into the microwave for about 15 minutes on full power. Finely chop the coriander leaves and red chili on a board, mixing as you go. Add the feta and keep chopping and mixing. Check the potatoes are cooked through, then use tongs and squeeze over the cooked lemon. Add the coriander mixture and mix in everything. Season, then take to the table

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Buns

 I tried these beauties for the first time and I tell you, my picture lacks the quality only implying that there wasn't much of it to capture....I tell you, they are great alongside a good Roasted Chicken or some meatballs they are just the things to mop that gravy up with!

Recipe Adapted From Pastry Affair
Instant Yeast - 2 1/4 tsp
Warm Water - 1 1/3 cups
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - 2 tsp
All Purpose Flour - 3 1/2 cups
Salted Butter - 4 tbsp, melted
Dried Parsley Flakes - 1 tbsp
Italian Seasoning - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 cup

Stir together the yeast and water and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. Into a food processor, mix in the olive oil, salt, flour and the yeast mixture and process till the dough is formed. The dough should be soft and elastic. Transfer the dough into a well oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 hours till it has doubled in size. In a small bowl,combine the melted butter, parsley the Italian Seasoning, and minced garlic and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Once the dough has risen, punch the air out and tear off golf ball sized pieces of dough. Roll them into the butter mixture and place them onto the bottom of a bundt pan. Repeat the process until one layer of dough balls are layered, sprinkle in 1/3 rd of the Parmesan Cheese. Continue layering in the dough balls and the cheese until you have three layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow the dough to double in size for about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle in some sesame seeds and then bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

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